MR HOBBS OF END STREET
This charming illustrated children’s book from 1979 by Virginia Parsons is a thinly veiled commentary on the development of the Covent Garden Market, and the Seven Dials area of London by big greedy property developers in the 1970s.
For ‘End Street’ you should really read Earlham St., and the hero of the book Mr Hobbs is the proprietor of a hardware shop which is none other than the former F.W. Collins, now The Vintage Showroom, at 14 Earlham Street. Even Mr Hobbs’ unique invention of elastic glue, which he uses to foil the wicked developers, is borrowed from F. W. Collins the original hardware shop owner.
This modern-day parable is a halcyon view of days gone by and the innocence of childhood made all the more pleasant because it was a gift from the Collins family. Thank you!